Compensation: $60,000 – $70,000 DOE/neg.
Location: San Diego, CA (Hillcrest)
Reports to: Board of Directors
Direct reports: 13 (1 Office Manager + 12 Teachers)



The San Diego Cooperative Preschool (SDCP) provides the highest quality of care for its students through a nurturing and supportive community of children, parents, and highly skilled staff. Through a play-based program that attends to the whole child, we seek to enrich every child’s experience, and to empower each child to joyfully develop at their own rate. Founded over 50 years ago as part of the First Unitarian Universalist Church, the SDCP is located on the church grounds, and for the past 6 years has functioned as a fully independent 501(c)(3) entity. The preschool serves 63 families through 4 classrooms and an infant room. The staff is comprised of a passionate and dedicated group of professionals specialized in early childhood education and child development. Under our unique cooperative model, parents are encouraged to actively participate in the education of their children, volunteering 2 days per month in the classroom. This cooperative partnership of parents and staff creates the foundation of our community, which emphasizes learning and support.



Working closely with the Board, the Director oversees all areas of the preschool’s operations, including strategic planning, marketing and outreach, staff management and development, fundraising, and administration. She/he will manage an annual budget of approximately $1 million and supervise a staff of 13 team members, along with a large base of dedicated parent volunteers.

Initial priorities for this position include:

  1. Forming and strengthening relationships with teachers, parents and the wider community.
  2. Coaching, mentoring, and developing staff.
  3. Working in conjunction with the board on strategic planning initiatives.
  4. Ensuring best business operations and processes are in place.
  5. Developing and implementing marketing, outreach, and fundraising strategies.



People and Strategy

  • Promote a collaborative work environment where all staff are engaged, informed, and empowered to participate.
  • Encourage and provide professional development opportunities for staff.
  • Review and revise staff performance metrics and evaluation criteria, holding each team member accountable to the preschool’s standard of excellence.
  • Foster open and effective communication with the Board, inviting Board members’ opinions and suggestions.
  • Form a long-term strategic plan for the preschool, ensuring its prosperity for years to come.

Development and Fundraising

  • Recruit and engage families to join the SDCP, ensuring full occupancy is maintained.
  • Create new fundraising initiatives and expand upon previous ones, such as the Annual Gala.
  • Diversify SDCP revenue streams, ensuring financial sustainability and growth.
  • Build and cultivate a donor portfolio.

Outreach and Marketing

  • Serve as SCDP’s main spokesperson to families, partner organizations and the public.
  • Lead preschool site tours, ensuring families leave feeling informed and inspired.
  • Build relationships with community and partner organizations, further promoting SDCP as a premier early childhood education center.
  • Attract diverse and committed families to join the community of SDCP families.
  • Boost brand awareness in the region as well as SDCP’s overall footprint in San Diego.
  • Oversee SDCP’s traditional and social media strategies and plans.

Preschool Operations

  • Implement best practices in nonprofit management.
  • Optimize business operations and workflow.
  • Update and formalize HR procedures, including hiring, training, retaining, and evaluating staff.
  • Oversee financial management, including budgeting, forecasting, reporting and payroll.
  • Develop curriculum alongside teachers.
  • Ensure all safety, legal, and state licensing requirements are met and exceeded.



  • Minimum of 5 years in leadership or management positions within the fields of childhood development and/or early childhood education.
  • Current Child Development Site Supervisor or Program Director Permit issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
  • Master’s degree in Child Development or Early Childhood Education preferred.
  • A working knowledge of child-centered curricula (ex: play-based learning, inquiry-based learning, emergent curriculum, project-based learning, RIE, Reggio, Pre-K, T-K, etc.)
  • Experience managing staff and working with both board members and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated strategic planning experience and strong business acumen.
  • Proven success with increasing organizational revenue and fundraising.
  • Familiarity with the management of leases and maintenance and vendor contracts.
  • A high level of emotional intelligence, with strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Superior attention to detail and problem-solving skills.
  • Charismatic, warm and welcoming; a true “people-person.”
  • Fosters a respectful, transparent, and collaborative work environment.
  • Growth mindset – says “yes” to new opportunities and ideas.
  • Willing to work evenings and weekends as required for special events.

SDCP is an equal opportunity employer which embraces diversity as a competitive advantage. We are committed to hiring practices that engage candidates across the spectrum of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation and identification, age, economic circumstance, physical ability, and geography. We encourage historically underrepresented applicants to apply.


For more information or to apply, please contact:

Liliane Lendvai, Operations Manager

Blair Search Partners